BC Ferries runs one of the world’s largest and safest ferry fleets and is in the process of both modernizing the ferries as well as the terminal infrastructure.

As part of their terminal engineering efforts, BC Ferries engineers have gained access to measurement of every wave and gust of wind in Village Bay since early November 2020, thanks to their partnership with MarineLabs. Located on the West side of  21-square-kilometre Mayne Island, the ferry terminal at Village Bay serves traffic to Pender Island, Galiano, Victoria, Vancouver and Salt Spring, with vessels departing most days as frequently as every half-an-hour.

Like all ferry berths, Village Bay terminal requires scheduled maintenance, refit, and engineering. The engineering work must take into account the effects of climate change, both on weather volatility and sea level rise which are typically forecasted using desktop models that need ground-truthing. High-resolution data collected from CoastScout instruments enables BC Ferries staff and contractors to validate their models with real-world measurements.

Village Bay Data within the CoastAware platform

Given the unique location of the terminal, a dedicated CoastScout buoy was installed by MarineLabs staff on November 5th, in 11 meters of water. Data was collected through three months of winter storms, providing engineers with a minute-by-minute view of conditions on the water – especially those that any future terminal upgrades will have to address.

Sandy Godwin PEng, BC Ferries Terminal Construction Project Manager was pleased to be able to view the buoy’s data and current location, giving him peace of mind that the buoy is well away from Ferry operations. “MarineLabs field deployment team was highly responsive, and made the process very easy.”

The CoastAware subscription was selected over alternatives for the ultra-high-resolution data available for both wind and wave conditions, as well as the operational simplicity of the data-as-a-service model. BC Ferries contractors have been able to complete the entire project without leaving the office. 

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4470A Markham St., Victoria, BC, Canada

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